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|_| \_\___/ \__,_|\__,_|___/ \___/\/ |____/ \___/ \__,_|\__|___/ [v3.5]
Roads & Boats PBEM Quick Guide v3.6
Last Update: 05/09/06
Written by Aaron Marriner (email@example.com)
Includes the Planes & Trains Expansion
Table of Contents:
I. Turn Phases
a. (Re)Production Phase
b. Movement Phase
c. Build Phase
d. Wonder Phase
II. Map Hexes
VI. Primary Producers
VII. Secondary Producers
VIII. Other Builds
XI. Victory Conditions
XII. Strategy (Things to keep in mind)
"Roads and Boats is like Ravel's Bolero compared with most
games' 1812 Overture"
-- Ben Baldanza, Counter Magazine 05/2000
Roads & Boats is a terrific game from the Dutch company Splotter Games.
It was first released in 1999, and subsequently re-released in 2000. The
main difference between releases (from what I can gather) is that the
initial release contained a glass or hard plastic 'cover' to draw the
roads on. While the second edition contains a roll of plastic. In 2003
Splotter released the third version of the game. Again, there weren't
many significant rule changes. The pieces and hexes were updated with
new designs, however.
Planes & Trains was released in 2001 as an expansion set to the original
Roads & Boats game. It included Airplanes, Trains, Bombs, and Bomb
During the game, players generate goods and build factories which in turn
produce more goods for more factories, and so on until they're able to
generate 'scoring' goods (Gold, Coins, and Stock Shares). It's quite a
long game, and can be very rewarding. The quote from Ben Baldanza is a
very, very good one line description of the game. There is a lot of
careful planning that goes into your play.
This Guide is mainly for the PBEM games that I've been playing in and
running, but can certainly work just as well for the face to face game.
Each player picks a starting hex, or takes one of the indicated starting
hexes from the scenario they're playing. Their house counter is placed there
along with three Donkeys, five Boards, one Stone, and two Geese. From these
humble beginnings, they can build any of the other buildings, and produce
all of the other goods in the game ... eventually.
No one owns the goods produced. The only time a player can claim to own
something is when one of their transporters is carrying it. During the game,
they use their transporters to move goods around the map, build factories,
and contribute goods to the Wonder.
I. Turn Phases:
+ All Primary Producers generate output
+ All Secondary Producers generate output <= their Max. if the
appropriate input is present
+ If exactly 2 Geese or exactly 2 Donkeys are present on an empty Plains
hex, 1 Goose or Donkey (respectively) is produced
+ For livestock to reproduce, they cannot be carrying any goods.
+ An empty Plains hex is one that has no buildings (excluding a player
home), no goods, and no other transporters on it. Roads and Walls
do not prevent reproduction, but no reproduction can occur across Rivers
+ When mines are built, they are filled with 3 Gold and 3 Iron. Solitaire
mine rules will be in effect, namely the Mine will produce whichever
good it has more of. If there is an equal amount of Gold and Iron in a
mine, it will produce Gold
+ Wagons and Trucks can only move on roads
+ Donkeys cannot move once on a hex without a road, and once on a hex
with a road during a single turn. If they want the road movement bonus,
they must use roads exclusively.
+ Rafts, Rowboats, and Steamers can only move on rivers or sea hexes
+ It costs Boats 1 movement point to dock/disembark to/from a shoreline
+ Boats may not dock and subsequently disembark in the same turn.
+ Boats may disembark and subsequently dock in the same turn.
+ Geese will follow a players transporter if the player wishes,
otherwise they remain in the hex (they can also be carried normally)
+ Players may pickup/drop off goods in a hex without expending movement
points. They may do this at any point during movement. Thus, a player
could pick up 1 Stone, move 1 hex, drop 1 Stone, pick up 1 Board, and
+ A player may not move the same good with more than 1 of
their transporters in a turn. For example, a player could not pick up 1
Stone with a donkey, move 1 hex, drop the Stone, pick up the SAME
Stone with a raft, and move it again. This is illegal. However, if
another player picked up the stone the donkey dropped, they could move
+ Players can build factories, mines, roads, etc. if the appropriate
goods are present in a hex containing one of their transporters
+ Only one building may be built per hex (Players Houses don't count
towards this total)
+ Nothing may be built on Desert hexes
+ Players may place their own bricks for a price (1 brick = 1 good,
2 bricks = 3 goods, 3 bricks = 6 goods, etc.). After all players have
finished, a white brick is placed.
+ Only goods that are in the hex that contains your house can be used to
buy Wonder bricks. Also, that hex must contain at least one of your
+ Starting with the 18th brick, every brick on the Wonder costs 1 extra
+ Once the 45th brick is placed on the Wonder, the players discover
irrigation. All desert hexes are converted into Plains.
+ New bricks are always placed in the lowest and leftmost empty space on
II. Map Hexes:
Light Green: Plains
Dark Green : Woods
Gray : Rock
Brown : Mountain
Blue : Sea
Yellow : Desert
Transporter Capacity Movement Points
------------- ------------ ----------------
Donkey 2 Goods 1 (2 if on road)
Wagon 3 Goods 3
Truck 6 Goods 4
Raft 3 Goods 3
Rowboat 5 Goods 4
Steamer 8 Goods 6
Airplane 4 Goods (see Airplane section)
+ A player may never have more than 8 transporters at one time. If a
transporter is created such that there are greater than 8, one must
+ A player may never have more than 5 land transporters at one time.
+ A player may never have more than 5 water transporters at one time.
+ A player may never have more than 3 Airplanes at one time.
+ Airplanes do not count as land or water transporters, but do count
towards the 8 transporter limit.
In addition, transporters may carry other transporters. A few stipulations
+ A transporter may be picked up during the (Re)Production phase or the
+ The carried transporter may not have moved during any turn in which it
was picked up.
+ A transporter can only be dropped of at the beginning of the movement
phase, and may move normally during that phase.
+ A water transporter can never be left on an all land hex.
+ Neither transporter may be carrying anything else.
+ Airplanes may not pick up goods during the (Re)Production Phase.
+ Airplanes may never carry other transporters.
+ Airplanes may be carried by other transporters.
+ When building/demolishing Walls from sea hexes, Airplanes suffer the
same penalties as water Transporters.
+ During the Movement Phase, Airplanes have two choices:
-> Taxi - An Airplane using this option has 1 Movement Point.
- The Airplane must move using Roads.
- An Airplane cannot carry goods (geese may follow).
- May move between sea hexes, but may not move from sea
to land or vice versa.
-> Fly - The Airplane may load up to 4 Goods, and then take off.
- The Airplane may drop the Goods on any land tile on the
board. All of the Goods don't have to be dropped in the
- Goods dropped in this manner may be picked up immediatly
by a transporter owned by the same player as the Airplane.
Other players have to wait until their turn.
- At the end of its movement, an Airplane must land on a
tile that doesn't contain a building and doesn't contain
unattended Geese (Geese not carried by a transporter).
- Airplanes can ALWAYS land on tiles containing an Airport.
- Airplanes may land on sea hexes.
- Walls, Roads, Transporters, and Goods (other than unattended
Geese) do not hinder flying or landing Airplanes.
- Airplanes do not need to drop all their Goods before landing.
- Geese can follow flying Airplanes as they would any other
+ Railroad Tracks are placed on the map before the game begins.
+ Railroad Tracks cannot be built during the game.
+ Trains run along Tracks, and a Transporter who starts their movement
phase on a Track hex can use a Train for 1 Good (of any type).
+ The Transporter cannot have moved prior to using the Train.
+ The Good used to purchase the Train Fare cannot have moved prior
to using the Train.
+ The Transporter cannot move after disembarking the Train.
+ A Transporter using a Train can move to any tile connected to its
current tile by Tracks.
+ A Transporter may carry Goods while on the Train.
+ Geese may follow a Transporter on a Train.
+ Transporters may carry other Transporters on a Train.
+ Tracks on River and Coastal hexes connect all shores on the same side
of the River. Docked ships and ships in Rivers may use the Train
to move to the River or other shores.
+ If a Track exists on a Sea hex, a Land Transporter may not end its turn
on that hex. Nor may the Land Transporter use the Tracks to cross
the sea hex without using the Train.
VI. Primary Producers:
Primary producers must be built on specific terrain.
Building Needed to Build Terrain Product
------------------ ------------------- ------------------ ----------------
Woodcutter 1 Board Woods 1 Trunk
Oil-Rig * 3 Board & 1 Stone Sea 1 Fuel
Quarry 2 Board Rock 1 Stone
Clay Pit 3 Board Shore 1 Clay
Mine 3 Board & 1 Stone Mountain 1 Gold or 1 Iron
* Requires research.
VII. Secondary Producers:
Building Needed to Build Input Output (Max.)
------------------ ------------------- ------------------ --------- ------
Sawmill 2 Board & 1 Stone 1 Trunk 2 Board (6)
Coal Burner ** 3 Board 2 Trunk/Board 1 Fuel (6)
Papermill ** 1 Board & 1 Stone 2 Trunk/Board 1 Paper (1)
Stone Factory 2 Board 1 Clay 2 Stone (6)
Mint 2 Board & 1 Stone 1 Fuel & 2 Gold 1 Coin (1)
Stock Exchange 3 Stone 1 Paper & 2 Coin 1 Share (6)
Wagon Factory 2 Board & 1 Stone 1 Donkey & 2 Board 1 Wagon (1)
Truck Factory * 2 Board & 2 Stone 1 Fuel & 1 Iron 1 Truck (1)
Raft Factory 1 Board & 1 Stone 2 Trunk 1 Raft (1)
Rowboat Factory * 2 Board & 1 Stone 5 Board 1 Rowboat (1)
Steamer Factory * 2 Board & 2 Stone 2 Fuel & 1 Iron 1 Steamer (1)
Research n/a 2 Geese & 1 Paper 1 Research
Bomb Factory 2 Board & 1 Stone 1 Fuel & 1 Iron 1 Bomb (1)
Airport 2 Stone 2 Board & 1 Goose 1 Airplane (1)
* Requires research.
** Any combination of Trunk and/or Board that equal 2 total goods.
VIII. Other Builds:
Road 1 Stone (constructed between two hexes)
Bridge 1 Stone (constructed over rivers)
New Mine Shaft * 1 Iron & 1 Fuel (on an existing mine)
Wall 1 Stone (constructed on the border of two hexes;
only the builing player may pass through
a wall; +2 to build from sea hex; can be
stacked on neutral Walls; cost is number of
walls already built +1)
Demolish Wall 2 Board (+2 if demolishing from a sea hex; to demolish
a stack of walls, cost is total number of
walls + 1; When a Wall is demolished a
neutral Wall is put in it's place)
Destroy Building 1 Bomb
Bomb-Proof Building 1 Stone
* Requires research.
These can be researched in any order. A player cannot combine Specialized
Mines with Large Mines.
Rowboat Factory * Allows building of Rowboat Factories
Truck Factory * Allows building of Truck Factories
Steamer Factory * Allows building of Steamer Factories
Oil-Rig Allows building of Oil-Rigs
Specialized Mines Allows mines to produce only gold or only fuel
(4 Gold/0 Iron or 0 Gold/4 Iron)
(if so desired; can still produce normally as well)
Large Mines Allows more gold/fuel per mine shaft
(5 Gold/5 Iron)
(if so desired; can still produce normally as well)
Extra Mine Shafts Allows extra mine shafts to be built (refill the mine)
* If you have a transporter in a hex with the same type of factory you
just researched (Land or Water) this turn, then you can upgrade the old
factory to the new one for free. You don't need the resources normally
required to build the new factory; you can upgrade it for free.
*** NOTE: You cannot combine Specialized Mines with Large Mines.
It's important to remember that goods which are not on a players
transporter, are not owned by anyone. Therefore, even if the Red Player
built a Woodcutter, the Black Player could pick up the Trunk produced by
said Woodcutter if he/she got there first. When two players are both going
for the same good on the same hex (or building order needs to be
determined), players consult the move order. A move order will be
established at the beginning of the game. At the end of the Wonder phase
of any turn, a player may request that a new move order be generated.
Beginning with the player currently last in the order, players choose
which position they'd like to be in the new order. When a player picks
their position for the new order, the next to last player in the current
order picks their new position and so on.
*** NOTE: This is different than the actual rules.
XI. Victory Conditions:
Once a brick is placed on the Wonder space that corresponds to the number
of players in the game, the game ends. The player with the highest number
of points wins.
For each good on a player's transporter:
* 10 pts. per Gold
* 40 pts. per Coin
* 120 pts. per Share
Also, a player scores points for having bricks on the Wonder. You get a
certain score depending on how many bricks you have on a row of the
0 1 2 3 4 5+
1 | 10 5 3 2 2 1
2 | 10 6 5 4 3 2
3 | 10 7 6 5 4 -
4 | 10 8 6 5 - -
5+ | 10 8 7 - - -
(rows are the number of bricks you have on a row of the Wonder, the
columns are the number of other non-neutral bricks on the row of the
XII. Strategy (Things to keep in mind):
* You MUST build a Woodcutter, and a Sawmill with your starting
resources. If you don't you will quickly fall behind in development, as
you wont be able to produce boards.
* Breed your inital two geese. Don't use them up on research before
breeding a few new ones. Otherwise, you'll need to send a transporter
over to a rival's area to steal theirs.
* Carefully plan what research you want to do. Don't research everything
if you don't need to, or if don't plan on using it. Extra geese can be a
great way to add bricks to the Wonder once you're done with your
* In games where you choose your starting position, try to find a cluster
of three hexes that contain a Woods hex, a Rock hex, and a Plains hex.
If you can position your starting hex adjacent to these three, it will
make setting up your basic resources much easier and much quicker
* Always be aware of the proximity of your opponent's transporters. With
an order change it's possible for them to sneak in and grab a good or
two you were counting on using. Make sure to build walls to protect
* Walls can also be used to disrupt your opponent's infrastructure.
Placing a wall between their Woodcutter and Sawmill can really be a
nuisance, for example.
Roads & Boats is (c) 1999-2000 Splotter Games
Planes & Trains is (c) 2001 Splotter Games
Roads & Boats FAQ
Roads & Boats PBEM Quick Guide is (c) 2002-2003 Aaron Marriner
Roads & Boats PBEM Home